health-about.com

Information on health, nutrition and other wellness topics

Vitamin A

Facts about Vitamin A

Romaine LettuceSearching for facts about Vitamin A? Vitamin A is an essential vitamin of the fat-soluble type. In general, there are two types of vitamin A, depending on where the Vitamin A is sourced- whether the food source is an animal or a plant. Vitamin A found in plants is called provitamin A carotenoid where the Vitamin A is obtained from beta-carotene, an orange pigment found in plant foods such as orange vegetables and other dark green, leafy vegetables.

The body converts beta-carotene, a precursor for Vitamin A into retinol or vitamin A for use. Vitamin A derived from foods that come from animals is called preformed vitamin A. It is absorbed in the form of retinol, sometimes called true┬Ł vitamin A because it is one of the most usable (active) forms of vitamin A or nearly ready for the body to use. Food sources include liver, dairy produce, fatty fish, fortified products such as breakfast cereals and in dietary supplements.

Being a fat-soluble vitamin, the body stores both retinol and beta-carotene in the liver, and uses them whenever more vitamin A is needed by the body.

 

Benefits of Vitamin A

One of the noteworthy facts about Vitamin A includes the numerous benefits it provides to body health.

  • Vitamin A, also known as retinol, promotes good vision, helping you see normally in the dark or low light.
  • Vitamin A promotes growth and health of all body cells and tissues. It helps in the maintenance and development of healthy skin, teeth, and bones.
  • Vitamin A also acts as an antioxidant which protect cells from damage caused by free radicals or unstable substances.
  • Vitamin forms a protective defense against infection by maintaining health in the skin and tissues in the mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory and uro-genital tract.
  • Vitamin A may prevent some types of cancer as research suggests.